Are cotton buds damaging your ears?

Are cotton buds damaging your ears?

Published at 12:24pm 26th March 2019.

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The Hearing Suite

It's something we've been told to do regularly since childhood, but has cleaning your ears with a cotton bud been doing more harm than good?

  • Emily Balmer from The Hearing Suite in Harrogate has been speaking about the dangers of trying to remove ear wax with cotton buds
  • Trying to clean your ears using cotton buds can push twice as much wax further into the ear
  • The Hearing Suite offer micro suction treatment to safely and painlessly remove wax build-up that can affect hearing

The Hearing Suite in Harrogate have been busting myths around the removal of ear wax with cotton buds, which can damage our ears when used for cleaning.

Cotton buds may be pushing more ear wax further into your ear than they remove, according to Director of Audiology at The Hearing Suite Emily Balmer:

"People often report that it feels nice to use cotton buds, but for every bit you get out, you've pushed twice as much further down.

"When it goes down into that next section of the ear canal, that's when moving your jaw or using a cotton bud won't bring it out. That's when you'd need some help in having it taken out." 

Cotton buds
Cotton buds can push twice as much ear wax further into the ear as is removed when done at home

The Hearing Suite offer micro suction treatment that can safely remove ear wax build-up without damaging the inner ear using a tiny hoover, which is far more beneficial than trying to clean your ears yourself:

"It's really important to be able to see what you're doing. When you're having a go yourself you're guessing and hoping you haven't caused any bruises or grazing that can lead to an ear infection.

"Sometimes I can take wax out that looks like it has been there for many years, so it's a nice feeling in the end."

Why do we produce ear wax?

Ear wax, or cerumen, is produced as a defence mechanism to protect the inner ear from things such as dirt and small insects.

It is antibacterial and secreted between the ear drum and the outer ear by small hairs to clean and lubricate the ear.

Beth has her ears checked at The Hearing Suite
Beth Parsons has her ears checked by Director of Audiology at The Hearing Suite Emily Balmer, who uses equipment designed to remove wax efficiently and painlessly

Ear wax removal at The Hearing Suite

For those who may suffer from a wax buildup in the ears, The Hearing Suite offer micro suction treatment that involves a tiny hoover gently lifting wax away from the ear canal.

Using a powerful ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) microscope, specialists are able to see the whole ear canal and safely remove the wax that can be causing hearing issues.

To find out more about their wax removal procedure or book an appointment, head to The Hearing Suite website or email enquiries@thehearingsuite.co.uk.

Beth Parsons from the Stray FM Health and Wellbeing Show went to the Hearing Suite to find out if her persistent ear cleaning has been damaging her ears:

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